McNamara opens up on Catalans’ financial struggles, exhausting schedule, recruitment and retention

It’s been a hectic season for all Super League clubs, but Catalans have made ten trips across the Channel since mid-August to maintain the competition’s integrity.

Yes, a number of their games were cancelled due to Covid-19 and ever-changing travel restrictions in Europe, but Bernard Guasch has metaphorically and literally emptied his pockets for the benefit of his club.

“Bernard has provided private jets and has put everything into keep us in the competition. He, nor the club, could really afford it and we now need to find a way of paying for that. I’m fully behind the club on that because it’s a tremendously difficult situation for us,” said McNamara.

The ideal situation for Catalans would be an inaugural Grand Final appearance but unfortunately, they were met by a dangerous performance from St Helens, who put on arguably their most dominant game of the season.

McNamara wanted Catalans to progress but believes the logistical struggles associated with the French outfit were too large to overcome.

“We landed today [yesterday] and had to come straight to the ground. We couldn’t go to the hotel and we had to eat on the bus or warm our food up at the ground.”

“Bernard pays for all of this. He’s provided something for us that he probably can’t afford at this stage but he’s going to find a way of funding it.”

“It could’ve been a step too far tonight, but we can’t use that as an excuse. After the play-off game [against Leeds], we arrived back home at four in the morning. You lose a whole night’s sleep then you feel jet-lagged on Sunday. On Monday, you start training and prepping again.”

“These boys have gone through this consistently but they’ve never whinged or moaned, they’ve just got on with it.”

As you can expect, McNamara is still unknown on Catalans’ imminent recruitment and retention plans due to the evident impact that Covid-19 has had on the club.

He explained: “There’s still lots of question marks at the minute and there’s lot of things that we have to work out over the next week or two.”

“We don’t have the same support from the government in France compared to the English government. We’ve got some really big questions that we need to find some answers to over this next period of time.”